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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Daniel Bard vs. Justin Verlander

05.29.12 at 8:43 am ET
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Amidst reports of decreasing velocity, Daniel Bard will take the mound for the Red Sox on Tuesday against the Tigers trying to get his second win in as many tries.

Bard’s transition from reliever to starter isn’t going very smoothly. The righty is 4-5 with a 4.69 ERA, and only three of his nine starts have been of the quality variety. Recently Bard has struggled finding the strike zone, walking four or more batters in each of his last four starts. He also had a seven-walk game on April 16 vs. the Rays.

In his last start, Bard put together a solid performance, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing only two runs, getting the win in a 6-5 victory over the Orioles in Camden Yards. He was relieved in the sixth inning by Andrew Miller, who then almost blew his decision by allowing a two-run home run to Nick Johnson but escaped the inning after getting Ryan Flaherty to ground out.

This will be Bard’s first career start vs. the Tigers, but he has faced Detroit six times in a reliever role, posting a 1-0 record and a 3.00 ERA. The current Detroit lineup is relatively unfamiliar with Bard, as only seven batters have faced him in their careers. Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta have the most at-bats vs. Bard, with each going 1-for-5 against him.

Getting a win will be a tough task for Bard as he’s going up against the reigning Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander.

Verlander has been dominate once again this season with a 5-2 record and 2.15 ERA. He ranks second in the majors in innings pitched, finishing eight or more innings six times. The righty’s most notable performance of the season was a one-hit complete-game shutout in which he struck out 12 in 6-0 victory over the Pirates on May 18. He lost his no-hit bid in that game with one out in ninth.

He followed up that near-historic performance with a six-hit, two-run outing over eight innings vs. the Indians. Despite only allowing two runs, he was saddled with the loss as the Tigers batters couldn’t back their ace, only scoring one run in a 2-1 setback.

Over his career, Verlander is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA in eight starts vs. the Sox. Boston’s lineup has seen the 29-year-old plenty of times. Five current Red Sox have 20 or more at-bats against Verlander. Out of those five batters David Ortiz has had the most success, going 6-for-21 in 24 plate appearances. Scott Posednik has the most at-bats vs. the righty, but has had a tough time against him, going 5-for-31.

Tigers vs. Bard (RHP)

Miguel Cabrera (5 plate appearances): .200 BA/.200 OBP/.800 SLG, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jhonny Peralta (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Brennan Boesch (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Ryan Raburn (2): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Ramon Santiago (2): .000/.500/.000,

Delmon Young (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Andy Dirks (1): .000/.000/.000

Red Sox vs. Verlander (RHP)

Scott Posednik (35): .161 BA/.188 OBP/.258 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Nick Punto (29): .154/.241/.154, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts

David Ortiz (24): .286/.375/.667, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (23): .261/.261/.522, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Kelly Shoppach (20): .222/.300/.500, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Mike Aviles (13): .231/.231/.231, 2 strikeouts

Adrian Gonzalez (13): .111/.385/.444

Dustin Pedroia (13): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Marlon Bryd (12): .455/.500/.455, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (9): .000/.000/.000, 5 strikeouts

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